Random Happenings


Our China Surprise is now over 7 months old!

She can grab (bowls of green cereal and toss them on the floor), reach (for dangly earrings), fake-cough, and charm the sox off of anyone.

An elderly couple in the elevator the other day were so enraptured with her smile and making goofy faces at her that they completely missed their stop.

I just ran into someone on the street today and her friend who I’ve never met before, but who has lived here for over a year.

I told her my name, and she said, “Oh, I’ve heard about you. You had a new baby.  It was a surprise pregnancy, right?”

So that’s how small the international community is here.

Forget 6 levels of separation–it’s about 2.

That was outside the US consulate, where I was heading to get more pages for my passport so I can get my annual visa submitted.

I remember when I was in college someone flipped open their passport with a whole ream of insert pages that came flapping out like an accordion.

I thought, how cool to travel so much that a regular passport  is not enough.

Then and there he was my hero.

Victor and his family also traveled for short and long term stints overseas with their very young baby at the time.  .

So thanks in part to Victor, here I am about 18 years later, living this crazy life that involves using a passport as my primary ID.

Back to the consulate.

I was sitting in the lobby, minding my own business, but it’s hard not to eavesdrop when every conversation at the window is transmitted through a very loud tinny microphone.

“Oh, you’re getting married.  Congratulations!  Have you been married before?  Do you have your affidavit of divorce with you?”
I tell you, during my 45-50 minute sojourn, at least 3 men over the age of 50 were there to make marriage arrangements who were previously divorced.

There’s at least one reason there are no secrets, even in a city of 8 million…


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